UK retirement age rises to 66 – and set to rise further | Pensions

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In the UK, men and women will have to wait until they turn 66 to collect their state pension from Tuesday, after a decade of increasing the age of eligibility for the benefit.

Ten years ago, women could claim their state pension at age 60, while men were at age 65, but changes in recent years have brought the two ages of eligibility closer together and gradually increased for both. sexes.

The incremental increase means that someone born on October 5, 1954 reached retirement age on September 6 of that year, while someone born a day later waited another month to qualify.

The state payment is worth up to £ 175.20 and is paid to anyone who has made at least 10 years of national insurance contributions during their working life.

These changes reflect the increase in life expectancy – when the first old age pension was introduced in the UK in 1908, it did not begin to be paid until the age of 70. Life expectancy at birth was 40 years for men and 43 years for women, and only 24% of people reached retirement age. Those who did would typically claim it for nine years.

In 2017, 85% of people reached retirement age, and the typical life expectancy of those who reached retirement age was an additional 24 years.

However, former pensions minister Ros Altmann said the system does not take into account the large differences in life expectancy between people from different regions, professions and social groups.

“The poorest members of society tend to have the poorest health. Many had a difficult manual labor life, which took a toll on their health. Therefore, the use of average life expectancy puts these workers at a particular disadvantage, even if they have worked for 50 years or more, ”she said.

“There has long been a strong case for allowing for a more flexible age range to start state pension payments, and the pandemic has made this case even stronger. This could help many women and many women who are seriously ill or in need of care for loved ones, and I hope the government will take this urgent consideration.

Ros Altmann said the retirement system does not take into account the large differences in life expectancy. Photography: Antonio Olmos / The Observer

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Work and Pensions said the government had committed in legislation to undertake a review of the retirement age every six years to ensure the system protected retirees and was affordable, sustainable and fair.

The spokesperson added: “Allowing early access to the state pension on a reduced basis could risk leaving people with an inadequate pension, while a universal state retirement age offers simplicity and clarity, which helps people plan for retirement. ”

Another gradual move to age 67 means anyone born on or after April 6, 1960 will have to wait after reaching age 66 to claim.

Apply for state pension

Letter of annual declaration of retirement pension
Holders of private pensions can draw on their funds from the age of 55. Photograph: Alamy

• You can retire earlier, but you will need another source of income to live on – perhaps a private pension, which you can benefit from from age 55. Or you can keep working – employers can no longer force people to stop working just because they have reached retirement age.

• The maximum state pension payment is £ 175.20 per week, but the amount you are entitled to will depend on how long you have contributed to national insurance. You will need at least 10 years of contributions to qualify for a state pension.

• Further increases in the retirement age are planned. The government plans to gradually move the age to 67 between 2026 and 2028; a further increase to 68 is expected to be phased in between 2044 and 2046. There are plans to postpone this between 2037 and 2039, but they have not been adopted. If this happens, people born between 1970 and 1978 will have to wait another year to claim their pension. You can find your retirement age here.

• When you reach retirement age, you will need to apply for payment. You should receive a letter with the details on how to do this, but you can start the process yourself when you are four months or younger. You can find details online.

• Your first payment will be made within five weeks of reaching legal retirement age; after that, you will be paid every four weeks rather than monthly.

• The day of the week which is for you “pension day” depends on the last two digits of your national insurance number. If the numbers are 00-19, you will be paid on Monday, if it is 20-39 it will be Tuesday, and so on.

• You can find out when your state pension will be due by using the calculator on the government website.

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